Committees: Harbor Development Committee
Pedestrian Bridge Crossing Notice:
December 2012 - The Harbor Development Committee has made an application to the Community Preservation Committee for funding for a pedestrian bridge to Whitney Wharf under the Community Preservation Act. This pedestrian bridge will increase public access to Hingham Harbor and will provide for safer access to Whitney Wharf. Please see below two artist renderings of the proposed bridge. The HDC encourages public input on this application to the CPC and we would welcome any feedback.
Overview at Whitney Wharf and Town Pier (PDF)
Drawing: Hingham Harbor Proposed Pedestrian Bridge Crossing (PDF)
Please provide feedback via letter to the Harbor Development Committee, 210 Central Street, Hingham or via attendance at our monthly meetings.
Important Documents and Links:
2012 Annual Report
Access, physical improvements along the waterfront and promoting Hingham Harbor related issues continued to be the focus of the Harbor Development Committee (HDC) in 2012. The Committee would like to thank Chris Daly, our past Secretary, for 6 years of dedicated service to the HDC and the Town particularly for his continued championing of the Whitney Wharf Pedestrian Bridge.
The HDC met approximately twice per month since September 2012. While we have entertained a few new issues, the majority of the Committee's time has been spent in advancing dialogue and developing action steps on harbor related matters that were addressed in the 2007 Master Plan. To maximize the efficiency of a volunteer committee, individual HDC members have taken the lead on a number of our individual initiatives to help their advancement through acting as liaisons with other committees and following through on matters discussed between meetings. Irma Lauter has taken an active role with the Committee during the past year in advancing our goals as the Committee's Selectmen liaison and the Trustees of the Bathing Beach Joan Williams, Ed Johnson and Tom Foley worked actively with the HDC throughout 2012 in advancing mutual interests.
The primary initiatives advanced during the past year were:
• Whitney Wharf Pedestrian Bridge - This project was allocated $275,000 in CPC funds at the Annual Town Meeting. Since that time, an RFP for professional engineering & permitting services was drafted by the HDC, was refined by Town Engineer Roger Fernandes and proposals were received in early February of 2013. Design services should commence in March.
• Harborwalk Initiative along Town Pier – The Harbor Master Plan called for "flipping" the pedestrian access down Town Pier to the outer, water-side of the Pier. When the sewer line was being extended out to Town Pier with funds from a State Grant obtained by Harbormaster Ken Corson, the HDC suggested that the area be configured for the walkway relocation when the area was being prepared for paving. This ended up requiring input of both the Hingham Historical Commission and Conservation Commission and although the walkway has yet to be "flipped", there is now adequate room to reconfigure the angled parking so that it faces the Iron Horse Park and allows for the pedestrian access along the water where a bollard and chain divider along the granite bulkhead may be appropriate (a theme that could likely be extended along the waterfront in similar applications). • Beach Erosion/Stabilization & Management – Hurricane Sandy (and subsequently the "Blizzard of 2013") heightened our awareness of an issue with serious implications along the Hingham waterfront: erosion of the shoreline/beach and the stabilization of the embankments and parking lot. Committee members have met regularly with the Trustees of the Bathing Beach, representatives of the Con/Com and Town Engineer Roger Fernandes to advance an engineering study RFP for solutions to this issue in the area running from the Bathing Beach to Town Pier. The RFP was advertised and proposals were received in February 2013 and a firm will likely begin engineering and permitting this Spring. A beach management plan is an essential precursor to obtaining State funds to redesign/rebuild our Town Boat Ramp which is in only fair condition at best.
• Bath House/Snack Shop Concept Advancement – Another area where the HDC has worked closely with the Bathing Beach Trustees is in the advancement of the concept of renovating the "concrete bunker" bath house into renovated bathrooms with an accessory snack shop as allowed by the waterfront zoning amendment passed in 2010 and as specifically authorized at the Special Town Meeting in the fall of 2011. We helped the Trustees in securing an intern from the Boston Architectural Center who provided layout plans and elevations of the proposed alterations. State of MA legislative and gubernatorial approval was obtained this summer and an RFP should be issued shortly.
• Harbor Master Plan Updating, Coordination with other Town Committees and Organizations – The HDC revisited the 2007 Harbor Master Plan and noted that while several of the suggestions noted in it are now advancing including the bath house-snack shop concept and the Whitney Wharf Pedestrian Bridge, we need to focus on socializing this document so that its goals and objectives have broad acceptance in the Town. As a number of the plan's goals related to landscaping, walkways, street-scaping etc. we have met regularly with Shade Tree Committee Chairperson Shirley Rydell to tap her Committee's resources to look at appropriate plantings and landscape architecture features along the waterfront; these discussions have ranged from the design, materials and patterns of a harborwalk to where inappropriate plantings should be removed and where appropriate materials should be considered (including zero depth fountains and the like). Another frequent attendee of HDC meetings has been Amy Cowan, the chairperson of the recently formed non-profit harbor advocacy group the Friends of Hingham Harbor. The Friends were founded to help promote activities along the waterfront so that more Hingham residents can benefit from this great asset.
• Community Rowing & Sailing Discussions & Study – While the HDC has not been a particularly active participant in discussions concerning the ongoing rowing and sailing program operated by Lincoln Maritime Center, we have been interested for some time in the physical characteristics, access and uses of Barnes and Steamboat Wharves. These areas were included in the Conditions Survey performed by Coastline Engineering as part of our "Blue Plan". Hingham resident and avid rower DJ McKinnon approached our committee about engaging (at his expense) a study to be performed by Community Rowing of Boston, a leading rowing and sailing advocate/operator, concerning the physical, operational and programmatic issues surrounding a sustainable community & rowing program in Hingham. This study is currently underway and they have engaged all the stakeholders in the process. The study is expected to be released in March 2013.
• Access to Harbor & Traffic/Transportation Issues (Rotary, etc.) – No discussion of the Hingham waterfront can be complete without addressing the "elephant in the room" – State Route 3A and its implications and impacts. Last Spring we had now retired District 5 Engineer (and Hingham resident) Bernie McCourt meet before our committee to discuss possible improvements for both pedestrians and safer, more controlled vehicular activity. A late 2012 meeting with Summer Street area residents and Town, State and MHD officials concerning the Rotary brought all these discussions to the forefront and hopefully closer to study, design and improvements in the not too distant future. Modification of the Rotary can have large positive implications in improved pedestrian access along the waterfront, Barnes Wharf, etc.
• Increasing Car-top Boating/Kayak Access in Different Locations – The Committee for a number of years has been looking at locations to improve residents' access to launching sites for kayaks and other car-top vessels that are becoming increasingly more popular. A recent site walk with committee members, the Bare Cove Park Ranger and a representative of Bare Cove Park revealed an intriguing possible access point that could safely separate pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The State has a program to fund such initiatives.
Alan Perrault, Chairman Eric Kachel, Secretary Robert Mosher David Fenton John Thomas Paul Losordo Edward Morris
Kenneth Corson III (Harbormaster) ex-officio
(Appt. By Selectmen, ART 30, ATM 1971)
|Alan Perrault, Chair
|Eric Kachel, Secretary